These PR Events Made Us Smile This Week

It’s important to remember that we’re in the public relations business because at some point in our lives we thought “Hey, this is fun.”

Of course in an industry hit hard by tough—but hopefully improving!—economic times, and with the inevitable spate of bad news and public relations foibles that make us smack our heads, we should never lose sight that what we do is compelling and enjoyable.

With that in mind, how can you not laugh at the huge controversy surrounding Cap’n Crunch and his suspicious military credentials. What started out as an entertaining conversation about the number of stripes on the Cap’n’s uniform—it only boast three stripes, not four, making the Cap’n an actual commander (a rank lower)—evolved into a hilarious PR dialogue involving the cereal’s representatives, the U.S. Navy and the public.

Check out Stephen Colbert’s take on the controversy in the video below. (And kudos to Mr. Colbert for honoring his mother earlier this week in a very touching tribute.)

We also tip our PR hat to the advertising agency McCann in Melbourne, Australia, who was tasked by Metro Trains to devise a campaign that promotes rail safety. McCann took a morose, staid and possibly patronizing message and turned it into an international social media sensation that has garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube and won numerous awards.

How did they accomplish this? By perfectly melding a catchy tune, a dark sense of humor and a warped view of death with animation so innocent and understated that one can only laugh, sing along and guffaw at the innate stupidity we all know, deep down, that each of us is capable of. Applause all around. If you haven’t done so already, watch the video below. You’ll be humming the tune all weekend.